TDA Announces Funding Available for Organic Certification

Wednesday, June 18, 2014 | 02:36 pm

NASHVILLE – Tennessee farmers pursuing USDA Organic Certification can qualify for financial assistance to help defray the costs. The Tennessee Department of Agriculture is now taking applications for cost share funding made available through the National Organic Certification Cost Share Program as authorized in the 2014 Farm Bill.

The program provides cost share assistance to eligible producers and handlers for certification-related expenses incurred from Oct. 1, 2013 through Sept. 30, 2014. Payments will be up to 75 percent of an individual producer’s certification costs, up to a maximum of $750 per certification.

“Organics is a growing and important market for Tennessee farmers as consumer demand for these products are increasing and will continue to increase in the future,” TDA organic marketing specialist Amy Tavalin said. “Having the USDA Organic Certification not only allows producers and handlers to label and better market their products as organic but it assures consumers of product quality and that best management practices were followed.”

To be considered for cost share funding, producers and handlers must complete an application and substitute W-9 form available from the Tennessee Department of Agriculture. Producers should keep copies of invoices and receipts from their certifying agency along with proof of payment and their certificate to submit with their reimbursement. Producers may submit one cost share reimbursement application for costs incurred during the current federal fiscal year. The deadline to submit an application and materials for cost share reimbursement is Nov. 1, 2014. 

An application packet and more information are available at http://www.tn.gov/agriculture/marketing/organics.shtml or by contacting TDA organic marketing specialist Amy Tavalin at Amy.Tavalin@TN.gov or 615-837-5163.